Quicken Gets Timely Mac Upgrade

If there's been a consistent complaint about Quicken, it's that the Mac version of Intuit's flagship personal finance program fails to match the Windows edition feature for feature. Mac-based Quicken customers have long cast a covetous eye at the robust research, tracking, and investment management tools PC users enjoy. And they haven't been shy about letting Intuit know that they've felt slighted.

The latest Mac version of Quicken, announced Wednesday, may not close that platform gap enough to satisfy hard-core Mac partisans. But the new Quicken 2001 Deluxe features touted by Intuit could answer some of the biggest gripes about the application.

Quicken Deluxe 2000 won praise for its improved interface but lacked substantial new features (see our review ). That's not the case with the new version. With Quicken 2001 Deluxe, Intuit promises more timesaving features, streamlined organization, tighter integration with online services, and more extensive financial planning tools.

What's New, Intuit?

Quicken 2001 introduces a number of features to the Mac software, while enhancing tools for earlier versions.

New

  • Global Find and Replace
  • Notification of software updates
  • Exporting portfolios to Quicken.com
  • Viewing account balances at Quicken.com
  • Alerts for upcoming and overdue bills
  • Personalized 401(k) advice
  • College planner
  • Auto risk evaluator
  • Family needs planner
  • Home affordability planner
  • Year-round tax alerts

Improved

  • Online banking and bill payment
  • One-click access to investment research
  • Mutual fund evaluator
  • Tax deduction tracking
Source: Intuit

Quicken 2001 adds a Global Find and Replace tool that lets users search all their accounts at once; there's no more poking through each Quicken file to find a particular transaction. The new version also checks for updates and fixes to Quicken. Users are notified of any software updates any time they're connected to the Web.

Quicken now lets Mac users export investment portfolios to the Quicken.com Web site. The task takes a simple mouse click, Intuit says.

The ability to export portfolios to Quicken.com also ties in with Intuit's stated goal of making it easier to organize your finances. Quicken.com offers users anytime, anywhere access to their finances via a secure Web page.

Another new organization feature alerts users about upcoming or overdue bills. Year-round tax calendar alerts are also new to the application. And Quicken 2001 gives Mac users access to more banks than did the previous version, which makes it easier for more people to bank and pay bills over the Internet.

Quicken 2001 features improved access to investment research and mutual fund evaluations. New planning tools offered through Quicken.com include personalized 401(k) advice, an auto risk evaluator, and planners for financing college tuition, family needs, and home purchases.

Intuit expects to ship the Quicken 2001 in September priced at $59.95. Current Quicken users will get a $20 rebate when they upgrade.

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